[University home]

Birth Rites

20 September-30 November 2008

Birth unites us all but are all births equal? How free are women to give birth in a way they want and where they want? How different is childbirth for women today in comparison with their mothers and grandmothers in the Western world? This exhibition features a series of artworks produced as a result of collaborations between artists and childbirth professionals working together to explore the politics and practice of childbirth in our society.

The idea behind Birth Rites came from Helen Knowles, an artist and curator, whose contrasting experiences of hospital caesarean and home birth led her to question our society' s approach to birth. The resulting four artworks and documentary film, alongside objects from the Museum, form the main part of this exhibition.

The exhibition also includes illustrated artists books which tell the childbirth stories and experiences of three different groups of people. Young mothers from Salford Women' s Centre share their recent experiences of giving birth. Elderly residents of Cherry Trees Hospital in Stockport share their memories of childbirth 40 to 60 years ago. Nine year olds from St Anne' s Roman Catholic Primary School, Manchester, share their thoughts and ideas on birth in the past, present and future, when they have their own children. They have also made clay sculptures of creation myths, photographs of which are included in one of the books.

Visit the Birth Rites website to find out more.

Related external links:
NCT - the UK's leading charity for parents